2014 Group 10 season preview: Orange Hawks

PRESSURE? What pressure?

Despite winning last year's Group 10 minor premiership and finishing runners-up courtesy of a 22-14 premier league grand final loss to CYMS, Tim Mortimer's Hawks won't be feeling the burden of expectation in 2014.

The two blues have lost two key components to last year's successful unit, with halfback Scott Rosser and prop Terawhiti Cooper both moving on.

Turning to the club's depth to fill both voids, Mortimer was quietly confident Hawks will again be among the Group's top clubs.

But there wasn't any pressure on his side to live up to the hype following a break-through 2013.

"Not at all," the 2013 Group 10 coach of the year fired.

"We've lost a few players from last year, but I think if we can get the basics right then we can be a bit of a force again. That's up to us. It's only very early at this stage."

The two blues were arguably the most consistent side in Group 10 over the course of last winter.

Going from a five-win campaign in 2012 to 14 wins and two losses 12 months on, Hawks' transformation from Group 10 easybeats to competition heavyweights was remarkable.

Following the club's best season since winning the competition in 2003, Mortimer was hopeful Hawks would hit the ground running come the kick-off of round one and be among the premiership front runners.

"Teams won't be at their best in Bathurst (for the knockout). Everyone will be finding form about round five and whoever is on top at that stage will probably give everyone a good indication as to who will be there at the end of the season," Mortimer said.

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